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For more up to date information please visit our latest website https://markandjulie.org/

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August 2016
Our Next Assignment Begins… 


It is with great excitement and expectation that we can finally announce that we are launching into our next God-given assignment. During this past month we completed the Missionary Preparation Training with Go To Nations at the World Headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida and were presented with our certificates by the President, Dr. Jerry Williamson and Executive Vice President of Ministries, Nancy Lovelace. So it’s official! We are now full-time Go To Nations Missionaries!  

gtn-presentation-augusut-2016-nlGod has been preparing us our entire lives for this very moment! We now have an amazing opportunity to take all the life experience, gifting, training and skills we have gained in the business world, international mission field, non-profit organizations, church, ministries and community arenas and have a greater global impact in the Nations than ever before. Our role, which fits perfectly with our passion and hearts’ desire, is to serve the 881 Go To Nations Missionaries and National Workers, together investing our lives in amazing life changing projects, in more than 96 countries, bringing resources and sustainable development to some of the most challenging parts of the world!

mpo-august-2016-mark-julieInspiring New Missionary Recruits… 

As Missions Mobilizers working with the Go To Nations Mobilization Team, we will be involved in the recruitment and equipping of new missionaries. We are passionate about inspiring young people to become world changers and help them maximize their potential as they find their God given purpose and destiny. The new missionary on the far right in the picture above is Michael Biggs, one of the Christ For the Nations Missions students we trained and equipped from September to December last year. We facilitated his going to Go To Nations Missions’ Field School in Thailand from January to March 2016 and he just completed the Missionary Preparation training with us and is now a Go To Nations Missionary. He is heading back to Thailand in January, for the start of his 2 year Missions Apprenticeship. Michael was keen to remind us that every life he and his ministry will impact in future years will be part of our legacy too, as a direct result of our encouragement and investment in him. 

dr-jerry-tanzaniaEmpowering Native Pastors…

We will be facilitating missions training for national and international pastors and leaders, equipping them with tools to mobilize their churches to advance the Great Commission. By connecting Churches worldwide with the resources and opportunities available through Go To Nations, we will play a strategic role in mobilizing the Body of Christ globally to take their place in God’s plan for the world, reaching people we could never reach alone.

From the Neighborhood to the Nations… For the past 10 years as pastors in England the tag line of our ministry has been bringing positive change to our community. We now have an opportunity to take this positive change to a Global level!

come-touch-the-worldOur Next Step is to travel and share our vision and financial goals and identify those whom God is leading to partner with us. We are thankful for all the significant relationships we have established and would love to have you as part of our monthly partnership team! Please prayerfully consider taking your place on our team!

Go To Nations Missionaries have already planted more than 4,700 native churches, graduated 23,000 Bible College students, built orphanages, dug water wells, facilitated medical missions, been in the forefront of the battle against sex trafficking, established feeding programs, developed sustainable farming and have had the privilege of seeing more than 1.5 million people come to a personal relationship with Jesus.

Our 2020 Goal is to launch 1,000 missionaries, each being instrumental in bringing hope & restoration through the Good News of the Gospel, demonstrating God’s heart for the nations in practical ways.


The World is waiting for us!

Our team needs you!

This new and exciting assignment is our greatest personal challenge to date! It requires a greater level of faith and trust than ever before, but we know that God is faithful. For maximum impact, we will need to relocate from the UK to the US to work directly as a strategic part of the Go To Nations World Headquarters Leadership Team. Our US Visa applications are under way and we are in the process of developing an International Partnership Team.

We appreciate your prayer for:
God’s provision & protection as we travel.
Our family as we make this transition.
Continued Good Health.


Thanks for journeying with us!
The best is yet to come!

 Love & Blessings,

 Mark & Julie
 Mark & Julie Morse

July 2016

P1010672 (1)Exciting Opportunities Ahead!… 

As we write this month’s update we are currently travelling in England and Wales, catching up with family and friends. We flew back to the UK on the 12th July for Julie to visit her Consultant on the 13th and for us to celebrate our Daughter Tasha graduating from her 3year Bachelors Degree in Inclusive Education on the 14th.
Julie Perfect 2016_edited-1

The meeting with the consultant was short and sweet, as following a thorough examination he said “Everything is perfect”. There is no trace of the tumour and he wished us well for our future adventures! We were confident of a good report, but it is such a blessing to have medical confirmation of God’s healing touch as we start planning for our future.

DSC_0067 (1)Tasha’s graduation was a proud moment for us. Her passion for working with children who have special needs is inspiring and she has such a gift and patient attitude with the children she assists with on placement and at the special needs unit she has been working with. She has been so intentional about battling through these past 3 years, with University, holding down several part-time jobs and raising her 3 lively children! Well-done Tasha!

We have purposed to keep this month’s newsletter short and to the point as we have some exciting updates to share and would value your prayers as we take a leap of faith into our next assignment.
Dr Jerry WilliamsonIn our final days serving at Go To Nations in Jacksonville, Florida, we had a meeting with the President, Dr. Jerry Williamson. We have really enjoyed listening to him teach during our time in Jacksonville and we have great respect for his wisdom, practical understanding of the most complicated subjects and humble attitude. He is truly a great leader and an authority on World Missions!
The Executive team really appreciated us investing 6 weeks, serving the Leadership Development of their Missionary families. They really didn’t want us to leave! Dr. Jerry felt that we had come to a crossroads in our personal ministry and had a choice either to look for a job with a local church and continue to have a local impact, which he felt we were more than capable of doing, or he felt we now had an opportunity to have a global impact that would affect nations, people groups and the world. He was very affirming of our skills, experience and attitude in serving and he asked us to consider joining the Leadership Team at Go To Nations and use our experience to help GTN make significant strides in bringing hope and restoration to the millions of people Go To Nations Missionaries serve each day around the world. We felt his words, and his offer, resonated with what was already in our hearts and said yes immediately. We will travel back to Jacksonville in August for Missionary Preparation & Orientation training at the GTN World Headquarters, then spend the next few months establishing a team of partners who will journey with us, pray for us, encourage us and support us financially as we launch into this next exciting season of our lives as World Changers! Please continue to pray for us as we make this significant transition to full-time Missionaries and start to build our monthly support team!

We will be able to give much more detail of our next assignment after the 2 week training session in August.
We will keep you updated with what God is doing in our lives and the impact He is having around the world through Go To Nations Missionaries. 

June 2016

MarkJulieGTNWHQFollowing God’s Plan…

Wow! What a month we have had!
After spending the majority of the first four months of the year in recovery mode, we are so thankful for the opportunity to be able to travel and take steps towards our next ministry assignment. One thing we know for sure is that we were not designed to sit and do nothing! It was nice for a while and a very necessary part of Julie’s recovery, but now that she is healed and back to full strength, we felt it was time to move forward ‘at a sensible pace’! Our idea of ‘sensible’ may seem a little extreme to some with 4 flights in 2 weeks, but we assure those of you who have shown concern that we are being sensible and at least trying not to push our boundaries beyond what Julie is ablejeremiah_29-11-BibleBLK  to cope with comfortably each day. God hasn’t finished with us and our best is yet to come! We are assured that God has good things in store for us both and whatever God has lined up for us, He has been working behind the scenes on our behalf, setting things up in advance to guarantee us an amazing future, where we fit perfectly!

Blessed to be a Blessing……  

So what have we been up to in Florida this past month? We are glad you asked!!
We flew to Florida in the middle of May from Dallas Texas to take an opportunity to volunteer at the World Headquarters of Go To Nations, a Missionary sending agency based in Jacksonville Florida.  IMG_7290One of our main activities during our time here has been to help with a 3 week Leadership Development Forum for 11 Missionary Families, who have travelled to Florida from other parts of the US, the Philippines, Thailand, Greece and Vietnam.
IMG_7158Our serving has consisted of various roles including cleaning and preparing the Ministry Centre ready for their arrival, shopping for supplies and welcome gifts, serving meals and refreshments, capturing the teaching sessions on video, sound and visual media, bringing the Go To Nations Global Missionary database up to date by helping transfer their information to a new system and anything else that needed our input. IMG_7286It’s not IMG_7289IMG_7212 (1)always easy to serve Missionaries as they are so used to being the ones who sacrifice so much to selflessly serve others! It has been an honor to be a blessing to these 11 families each day and volunteer alongside a great team of amazing people at the World Headquarters to give them a great experience. We have had the opportunity to sit on most of the Leadership Development Teaching sessions and have really enjoyed hearing the Heart of GTN from their Executive Team and getting to see first hand how Go To Nations operates Globally. GTN has been in operation for more than 30 years and currently supports more than 800 missionaries impacting over 93 countries throughout the world. blessed to be a blessingThe Missionaries they support are involved with so many wonderful projects such as Church Planting, setting up and supporting Orphanages, Feeding Programs, Community Health, Aid and Relief Projects to the Poor, Aquaponics Projects, working with Refugees, Bible Schools and they are in the forefront of the battle against Human Trafficking.
For the past 12 years of full time ministry, we have been intentional about investing ourselves in changing people’s lives and bringing hope to the communities we have served. It has been such a worthwhile use of our time to be a blessing to this great Missions organization during this 7-week visit to Jacksonville, as their vision, mission and values line up so well with the call of God on our lives. In fact it was Go To Nations Missionaries that we served on our first ever Missions Outreach to the Philippines to work with Street Children 13 years ago, when we were students at Christ For The Nations in 2003, even though we didn’t make this connection until recently! 

God Keeps On Blessing Us……

John and Carolyn EllisWe have been staying with a delightful couple, John & Carolyn Ellis, in an apartment above their garage which they built 25 years ago for use by visiting missionaries. They are now retired and in their late 70s and mid 80s and are a real blessing to so many people. We have enjoyed hearing about the many adventures they have had. They have visited 30 Countries and are still world travelers! They have loaned us their car for a few weeks to save us renting one and blessed us further by filling it up with fuel before handing us the keys.
lizardWe have quite a few 4-legged neighbors, Lizards of all sorts that climb the walls outside our apartment, that seem to greet us as we leave at 7.30am each morning for our drive to GTN HQ. They don’t stay around long when we appear but seeing their little legs scurry away is quite cute! Thankfully we haven’t had any inside yet as that might be a different story! Our hosts were telling us that there are Raccoons, Eagles, Osprey and all manner of other wildlife around our home! There are even Alligators in the small creek that runs past the end of the garden! We will stick to enjoying the lizards and leave their much larger cousins to swim undisturbed!

One great perk of being here in Florida near the P1010587 (1)coast is that we are only 20 minutes from the beach. We have taken the opportunity several times after a long day serving, to take a walk on the beach and paddle in the ocean as the sun is going down! There are miles of unspoiled coastline and this is a fun way to end a busy day and unwind, watching Pelicans flying by and diving into the waves to catch an evening snack! There are Turtles and Dolphins that swim quite close to the beach, but we haven’t seen any yet! 
Florida has had its weather challenges recently with tropical storms, amazing thunder and lightening storms, torrential rain, 90% humidity and temperatures around 38°C (100°F). Thank God for air-conditioning!
IMG_7073We drove 8 hours on our day off last Saturday from Jacksonville to St. Petersburg and back to swap our loan vehicles after the first month and Julie had to drive one of the vehicles for 100 miles in the rain that day. IMG_7278This was her first time driving in the US for 13 years, but she did well considering it was on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car!!!!
We still treat every day as a God given adventure and are thankful for the love and support of friends who have encouraged us and partnered with us financially and in prayer. We have always lived by the philosophy that you can’t out-give God and as we try to be a blessing to others, God makes sure we are blessed in the process too.

How You Can Support Us……

Pray for us! We are coming to a point in the next few weeks when we have to make some important decisions about our next steps! Please pray for wisdom and a clear direction for our future.
Support us practically. We have opportunities to return to the US as Full Time Missionaries in August, to serve at Go To Nations World Headquarters Jacksonville, Florida (http://www.gotonations.org) or as Full Time Missionaries based at Trinity Church in Dallas, Texas. (http://www.trinitychurch.org)
To take either of these options, we will need to cover our living costs, accommodation and transport. Our forecasted budget shows that we need financial support of $3,500 (£2,500) each month. That is a $2,900 (£2,020) per month increase on our current $600 (£400) monthly income. The funds from selling our home are depleting rapidly as we have spent the past 12 months volunteering.
IMG_6551We would love you to partner with us in bringing hope and restoration to the lives of thousands of people worldwide by giving a regular financial gift, large or small as we continue to impact Nations and fulfill the Great Commission. 

A one off financial gift towards our travel costs, would be a huge blessing too! 
We fly back to the UK on 12th July for Julie to have her second consultant appointment in Bristol as a routine follow up on the 13th. We are also thrilled to be able to attend our daughter’s graduation ceremony in Wales on 14th, as she has recently passed her 3 year Bachelors Degree in Inclusive Education.
We will need use of a vehicle for a few weeks during our time in the UK, so car keyif you have a car we could use in the UK for all or part of this time, please let us know.

May 2016


Steps of Faith…

What do you do when your future plans are squashed and what seemed like the perfect pathway ahead gets blocked? This has been one of the big questions on our hearts for the past month!
Proverbs 3:5,6 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.’
As we contemplated our options, following Julie’s clearance to travel and the amazing turnaround in her strength and energy levels, even though our employment options at Christ For The Nations in Dallas had recently changed, we still felt that God was leading us to continue our journey of faith and explore what might open up to us as we travel.
We have never been ones to sit back and allow disappointment to derail us! There is a whole world out there and we have lots of capacity to go and make a positive difference somewhere! With this in mind we move forward expectantly and full of faith!

Pressing on toward the goal…!IMG_2160Next-assignement

It is amazing when you choose to move forward positively past life’s trials, just how much your life seems to encourage and impact on others. We had a very busy end to April since leaving the retreat cottage in the Cotswolds on the 22nd. We went to stay with friends in Wellington for a few days where Mark celebrated his 51st Birthday on the 24th. We took this opportunity to catch up with a some great friends in the area who had been praying for us and encouraging us throughout this past few months and then we made a quick two day trip to Wales to visit family and to attend a friend’s funeral. We drove back to Wellington for a few days, sold our car, booked our flights to Dallas, packed our cases and caught a bus to London to fly to the US on the 28th. 
P1010022Our first stop in the US was at Christ For The Nations, as we had left all our summer clothes and personal items there in our good friend, Connie McKenzie’s apartment, expecting to be back at the end of December. We had fun staying with Connie as she prepared to go to Asia on a missions outreach for 3 weeks. She is always such an inspiration to be around and we are so thankful for her encouragement and friendship!
It was tougher than we thought returning to CFNI Campus. Even though we had personally processed the disappointment of the job offers being withdrawn, the discouragement and sadness we saw in our friends on staff, the students on campus and friends in Dallas, was challenging to come to terms with.
P1010020Everyone was really pleased to see us and encouraged by how well Julie looks. We had a really busy first seven days trying to fit everyone in who wanted to get together with us. We enjoyed dinner at Rod & Celeste Groomer’s home and hearing all about their latest venture to serve the First Nation Native Americans. Apologies to all those we didn’t get to visit! Jalee & Martha Gill took us out to dinner and we were blessed to be able to catch up with their daughter, Courtney, who interned with us at our Church in England and who had returned briefly from the UK to attend her Granddad’s funeral.
P1010061We enjoyed interacting with and encouraging the Global Missions Major Students and had the opportunity to speak to more than a hundred of the 3rd year students at the final session of one of the classes we would have been teaching this semester. We were overwhelmed by their standing ovation as we were introduced.
P1010111We also spoke at the Children’s and Family Major Graduation Dinner and shared how Childrens’ and Family Outreach had played such a big part in our ministry since graduating from CFNI in 2004. We had fun sharing part of our journey and we ended with Julie leading an Action Song! This was a real test of her energy levels as she hadn’t done this for almost 12 months, but as usual she put maximum effort into it and enjoyed getting everyone involved.
It was exciting also to be part of the event to pray over and send out the 16 teams of staff and students who left on Mission Outreaches to other parts of the World this summer.
P1010133We were honoured to attend the CFNI Graduation Ceremony for all students completing their studies and this was a major reason for the timing of our visit.
P1010146Our time in Dallas was a great opportunity to spend time with Nina (our ‘Filipina Daughter’) and see her graduate, along with many of our other students who are now great friends too!
We were blessed to be part of the sending out service for our students and friends, Derek & Amber Crowe and their girls as they head off to serve the First Nation people of Hawaii in June. We got to help them pack their shipping container and be part of the preparation for their next exciting adventure! P1010453 (1)
P1010086We were thankful to have the opportunity to visit Trinity, our home church in Dallas, and enjoyed catching up with our Pastor Jim Hennesy over lunch. He is always such a great encouragement to us! We also met with several of our friends on staff at Trinity and were thrilled to hear all the exciting things that are happening at the church and in the local community. We seemed to fit a month’s worth of activity into our first week in Dallas and thankfully didn’t have time for jetlag! Thanks to everyone for your continued love and support!

Time with Friends and Future steps… 

P1010275After spending a week in Dallas we flew to Colorado for 4 days to attend our friends, Rick & Joan’s, daughter’s wedding. They were CFNI students with us in 2003/04 and we had great fun catching up with them. P1010238The wedding was outdoors and we met some great people before and after the wedding ceremony. Rick & Joan took us on a trip into the mountains of Colorado and we stopped off at Andrew Wommack’s amazing Charis Bible College, over looking Pikes Peak on the way. After a day exploring Eleven Mile Canyon, in the wilds of Colorado, where we saw lots of wildlife and got to feed the P1010325wild chipmunks, we stopped off on the way home to visit Rick & Joan’s friends in their cabin in the mountains and we had a great evening eating and chatting around the campfire.
P1010429We flew back to Dallas midweek to speak at Trinity Church Missions Class and felt really encouraged by the people we met there. We have been Trinity Missionaries for the past 13 years and the church has recently started sending us monthly financial support.
At the end of our time in Dallas, we flew to Tampa, Florida. P1010489We were blessed to be loaned a 2001 Honda CRV for a month from Missionary Ministries and drove up the East Coast of Florida to Jacksonville. Florida-1999-to-2016We stopped off briefly for a quick photograph at the lake view gazebo in the grounds of the hotel where we married in Orlando, Florida, 17 years ago! We could never have guessed how our lives would have turned out when we started out married life together in 1999 and are so thankful God joined us together for this journey!
We will spend at least the next month here in Jacksonville, Florida serving the missions sending ministry, Go To Nations. GTN arranged use of the vehicle for us and also use of an P1010540upstairs Garage Apartment with our hosts John & Carolyn Ellis, who built the apartment at their home and have been allowing visiting missionaries P1010566to use it for more than 25 years. It is a really comfortable one bedroom facility and we are grateful for being allowed use of it. We liaised with Go To Nations from September to December last year when we arranged for the Global Missions Students from Christ For The Nations to attend their Missions Field Schools in Thailand and Honduras.
GTN contacted us in April when they heard we were available and looking for an opportunity to serve somewhere. We had a Skype call in April with one of their  Directors and we offered to volunteer at their Leadership Development Forum for Missionaries next month. We will be exploring possibilities for future ministry opportunities as we continue to seek the Lord’s guidance on our next steps, so watch this space!
 Thank you for sharing our journey!

How you can support us. 

Pray for us! Please pray for our health, strength and provision! Pray for wisdom for us to make wise choices!
You can support and encourage us by emailing us with your news, even if only a few sentences! Hearing from friends and family is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!

April 2016


A Good Report!

We are so thankful that we can start this month’s update with great news! Julie’s recovery from the Chemo/Radiotherapy has gone really well. Following the last day of treatment in early March she had a few challenging weeks, but her skin has now healed and she is almost back to full strength. We had a follow up appointment with the Oncology Consultant on 30th March and he said she had done remarkably well. He was even able to examine her and announced that the tumour has completely gone! He was amazed by Julie’s progress and gave us the go ahead to travel as soon as we are ready and doesn’t need to see Julie again for at least 3 months for a standard check-up. We really appreciate the great care Julie received during her treatment and the hundreds of friends that have been praying for us and encouraging us throughout this time. We are blessed to have received financial support from friends in the UK and USA and thankful for the charity that has allowed us to use the retreat cottage during this time of recovery.

Unexpected Change of Plans!

CrossroadsMandJ1Our life journey often resembles that of a rollercoaster ride! The ups and downs, twists and
unexpected turns regularly take us by surprise. Julie’s diagnosis in December was certainly not something we could have anticipated or planned for, but as always we trusted that God would bring us through and He certainly has! We are wiser, stronger and more grateful for health as a result and we certainly have a greater empathy for people suffering with long-term illness or having regular visits to hospital.

Now that we are finally coming out the other side of, what at times has felt like, quite a long dark tunnel, we can get on with the rest of our lives. We thought that our next few years were firmly planned, but we recently received an email from Christ For The Nations Bible College in Dallas Texas, withdrawing their offer of employment to us, due to current and future financial cutbacks.
We are obviously very disappointed with this news, as we had put so much effort and investment into preparing for this transition to the US. We are still processing this change currently and evaluating our options for the future. We have no home currently in the UK and are free to travel anywhere in the world. We will need to make a trip to the US to tie up some loose ends and to retrieve our belongings and the majority of our clothes that we left with friends in Dallas.
We will be looking at alternative employment over the next few weeks and are open to offers. Whatever we end up doing we know that it will be worthwhile and making a difference to people’s lives somewhere in the world. It is at times like this that we rely on the faithfulness of God to continue to lead us through. He is never taken by surprise and always has a rescue plan for us. He has come through for us so many times in the past and we are confident that He is already preparing something great for us to step into next!


Easter Family Time in Wales…

With the cottage we have been staying in having a prior booking for Easter, we took the opportunity to visit family in Wales during Easter week and everyone was very pleased to see us. DSCF5272We hadn’t visited our family since before treatment started in January, so seeing Julie looking so healthy was such a relief to her Mum, Children and Grandkids. It was a pretty full on week, with trips to the park and boating lake and an afternoon at the Movies. We joined in with a Good Friday Service in Cwmbran Shopping Centre and enjoyed the Easter Sunday Service at Victory Church, Cwmbran, before DSCF5283 (1)taking Julie’s Mum out for Easter Lunch.
During our time in Wales a good friend of ours passed away. We were able to visit her in hospital in her final days and will be making plans to attend her funeral later in the month.DSCF5250

We returned to the cottage in the Cotswolds on Easter Monday and will be staying here for a few more weeks before taking our next steps. We have to move out on 22nd April and have no plan beyond that point at present.
DSCF5207We are not sure what the rest of the month holds for us, or what we will be doing in the coming months. We will be making contact with organisations seeking a place for us to serve and trusting God to open the right door for us. If you have any suggestions as to where we could go from here, please get in touch!

How you can support us.

Pray for our next steps! Please pray for direction for us, that God will bring the right opportunity soon!
You can support and encourage us by emailing us with your news, even if only a few sentences! Hearing from friends and family is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!

March 2016


Love is in the air… 

February provided some great opportunities to celebrate our relationship and marriage. Even with Julie’s treatment in full flow, it was good to take some time out to celebrate Valentine’s Day and our 17th Wedding Anniversary by going for a meal in one of our favorite West Country restaurants. IMG_6702Our current circumstances might be challenging but we have purposed ourselves to enjoy the journey and take every chance to laugh together and have fun! Every day we have a choice to allow the circumstances to get on top of us or for us to take the initiative and make the most of whatever comes our way!

God continues to protect and provide!

This past month has felt like we have been on autopilot! We have driven more than 3000 miles visiting the hospital every day for 28 days radiotherapy and 192 hours of chemotherapy. The 110 miles round trip became very familiar to us and Mark tried his best each day to avoid the many pot-holes and dips in the road to make the journey more comfortable! DSCF5127We have been very blessed to have our friend’s house in Taunton to ourselves while they have been away and have also enjoyed having them home for the final 10 days of treatment. We were told to make a plan to stay closer to the hospital for the final 2 weeks of treatment as the consultant said Julie would not be able to travel very far or sit for long periods due to the pain. We had an offer to stay with Christians from a church in Bristol, who we didn’t know before and were so thankful for the offer of them opening their home to us. As Julie miraculously suffered very little side effects and has taken no regular pain medication, we decided to stay with our friends in Taunton right up to the end of treatment on 2nd March. 7-Weaver-Cottage Mark Julie (1)When we sent out last month’s Newsletter we asked if anyone knew of somewhere we could rent for a few months for Julie’s recovery. Finding something affordable is not easy and we were really blessed when our friends who head up Joyce Meyer Ministries in Europe called us to say that one of their staff was a trustee for a Christian charity that owned a cottage in the Cotswolds for use by ministers on retreat. Dorothy-Richard-Cottage (1)Surprisingly the cottage was not occupied during March and April and they said we could use it for 8 weeks for Julie to heal and regain her strength, paying only for the weekends to help them cover costs. We hope Julie will be OK to travel to Wales for Easter as we have to move out for a week due to the only prior booking the charity had. Having the opportunity to use this cottage is a real answer to prayer and we are so grateful! We will not have a landline or Wi-Fi for 2 months, but hopefully our mobile provider will give us some internet access. We are sure that we will figure out a way of keeping in touch and sending updates!

Friends have been so encouraging…

We have been overwhelmed by friends from all over the world, messaging us, to let us know they are praying for us. More than 200 people are praying daily against the side effects and sending encouragement through Facebook. MISSIONSFACETIMEFEB2016 (1)We got to Skype with the CFNI Missions Team in Dallas, who are doing a great job of ‘holding the fort’ in our absence! It was fun to see their smiling faces! We look forward to being back with them as soon as possible! DSCF5132Our hairdresser, knowing that Julie has to avoid infection, came to visit us at home to cut our hair. Julie’s hair was thinning after the chemotherapy drugs and Alison did a great job of making it look amazing again. We have never been so isolated from people, with only a few visitors in the past 8 weeks. IMG_6704We enjoyed catching up with Courtney for coffee and cake. She came from CFNI in 2014 to serve with us in Wellington and is still faithfully serving there for her second year. DSCF5147Our good friends Anne and Jack came home from Australia recently and we took them out for a meal to thank them for allowing us to stay at their house and looking after us so well in the last few weeks of treatment. We really appreciate the cards, flowers, phone calls, text messages and visits from good friends this month. It has made a real difference! With treatment now over, it’s time for the recovery process to begin. We are writing this from our cottage retreat in the Cotswolds. This is such a beautiful part of the country! The neighbours here are really helpful, putting the heating on and cleaning right through prior to us arriving. We are looking forward to being back to full strength and are ready to get on with all that God has in store for us next. Thank you for your love and support!

How you can support us.

Pray for a quick recovery! Please pray that the areas affected by chemotherapy and radiotherapy will heal quickly. Pray for Julie to regain full control of her bodily functions and for the pain and soreness to remain manageable. 

February 2016

Treatment Begins

DSCF4745We really don’t want this month’s newsletter to be about hospital visits and Julie’s Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, but quite honestly, in reality, this has consumed our past month. It feels as though we have been living at Bristol Oncology Centre and driving back to stay at our friend’s house to sleep each night! In early January there were several visits to the hospital for scans and to prepare us for what was ahead and then daily treatment started on 25th January. The first week was Physically and Emotionally draining for both of us. Julie Oncology sign day 1Coming to terms with the diagnosis and change of plans were part of the initial battle we faced, but sitting in a large, very full waiting room each day with patients of all ages suffering from all sorts of cancer waiting for treatment was something we hadn’t anticipated! It has however given us many opportunities to share part of our story and bring encouragement to patients and family members.

A Month of Blessings & Encouragement

IMG_6648IMG_6678We have felt extremely privileged to be able to house sit for 6 weeks as our friends from Taunton, Somerset visit their family in Australia. Having our own space at this challenging time has been such a blessing. Living out of a suitcase again for a few months is a real ‘missions’ experience, as we left most of our personal items and newer clothes in Dallas thinking we would only be in the UK for 3 weeks. Thankfully we were able to dig out some ‘old faithful’ winter clothing from storage to see us through! Staying in Taunton has meant a 3 hour round trip to the hospital each day, which turns into 4 to 8 hours dependent on wait times and treatment. If travelling becomes an issue in the final 2 weeks of treatment we have had an offer from a family from a church near Bristol to stay with them for the final sessions. We are so thankful for the hundreds of prayers and words of encouragement we have received via email, Messenger and also Facebook posts from friends around the world. Julie received calls, texts, visits, flowers and cards and one friend brought us some meals. We were overwhelmed this month by the financial gifts we received from a few friends wanting to support us and sow financially into our ongoing ministry by helping towards transport and living expenses. We were grateful to receive financial support from our Trinity Church Family and our friends from Agape Church in Texas. Directors at Christ For the Nations Bible College are standing with us in faith and have arranged to cover the classes we were scheduled to teach and are keeping our positions open until we can return to Dallas. CFNI students and staff have sent many encouraging messages and are eagerly waiting and expectant for our speedy return. We were excited to hear that there has been a 70% increase in the number of Missions students registered for the 3rdyear Missions Major this semester, compared to Spring 2015, but we are sad of course that we haven’t been able to be part of their training from the start! We have been able to help with some class planning and arrangements for the Missions Major students via email and have been encouraging and guiding the staff and scholarship students at every opportunity. It has been a real encouragement to follow the progress on Facebook of 8 of our Missions Major students, whom we helped prepare and equip during our recent time in Dallas, as they arrived in Chiang Rai, Thailand in January for a 10 week Field School Internship with the Go To Nations Missions Organization.
We were blessed on our first day of Chemotherapy when we met the Chemo Nurse and found out she was a Christian and attends a friends church in Bristol. She was very reassuring and shared many stories of how she had seen God heal people that had serious illnesses.

So what else have we been up to?…

Before the intense schedule of hospital visits started and with this unexpected extra time in Somerset, we were able to quickly catch up with our West Country friends. Good friends we don’t get to see often invited us to dinner and we had fun playing games with their family and catching up with their news. We were able to meet up with other friends for coffee and took a quick trip to Wales to visit family. The Consultant advised limiting our activities and visits during Chemotherapy to reduce the chance of picking up viruses and infections, so it was good to be able to catch up with as many people as possible before treatment started. Our interaction with family since this visit has been limited to phone calls and Skype Calls, the grandkids find it fun to see us on their TV screen as they Skype us through their Xbox! Our grandson Keiron wanted to show us what he had made from Lego! Our grandson Ollie was more fascinated with the camera and seeing himself.IMG_0159

Most of our time at home during treatment days consists of resting. It’s unusual for us to get this opportunity, but we were advised that it would speed up recovery!
DSCF5093It’s given us the opportunity to pray for friends and family and spend more time reading the Bible and preparing for our future Missions Classes.

The Hospital advised to cut out the healthy food options during treatment to combat the effects of the treatment. Less fruit and vegetables! Mark only likes cooking (and eating) unhealthy stuff usually, so is more than happy to help with this! He did however stretch to making Lasagne one night!IMG_6669

How you can support us.

Pray for God’s healing power! Please pray that the side effects of treatment and recovery time will be reduced. Julie will have a consultant’s appointment, up to 6 weeks after treatment ends to give her the all clear. The effects of treatment can last much longer but we are believing for the best case scenario and miraculous results!
You can support and encourage us by emailing us with your news, even if only a few sentences! Hearing from friends and family is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!
Accommodation from March! During Julie’s recovery time in March/April we will need somewhere peaceful to stay. If you know of an inexpensive, furnished holiday rental, apartment, trailer, lodge, cottage or something similar in the UK for any amount of time from 2nd March that we could stay at or know of anyone needing house sitters for a while, please let us know.

January 2016

Change of Plans

God-is-in-control-MJWe take this opportunity early in the New Year to update you on some important unexpected changes to our immediate plans.

We expected to be writing to you in this latest Newsletter to let you know about how our move to Dallas is going.

As planned we returned home to the UK in December to visit our family, finalize our Visa application process, pack 2 suitcases and then the plan was to fly to Dallas on the 28th of December to take up our new positions training and equipping Missions Students at Christ For The Nations, Bible College.
Well, the first part went according to plan and we got our Religious Worker Visas approved just a few days after arriving in the UK.

We got to visit family and friends and sorted out items from our storage to fit perfectly into the 2 suitcases we are allowed to take on the flight back to the US.

With practical matters taken care of, we were all set to book our flights and then spend the rest of our time enjoying Christmas with family, but all changed following a visit to the Doctor, early in December!

Unexpected Developments

Julie went to the Doctors during our time in the UK for a repeat prescription for some skin IMG_6645 (1)cream. When she was with the Doctor she mentioned that she had been having some symptoms in the past 3 months of what she thought might be Hemorrhoids, expecting to be given some medication to clear it up.
The doctor examined Julie and showed great concern, referring her to cancer services to checkout what she thought was a polyp in the rectum.
Julie was fast-tracked and had an appointment with a specialist within a week and the specialist decided Julie needed a sigmoidoscopy examination with a camera and booked in for later that afternoon. This examination and biopsy showed a cancerous tumour, which the surgeon hoped he could remove before Christmas. Julie was sent for an MRI Scan and a CT Scan on Christmas Eve to check the tumour was confined to this one position.
The scans were encouraging and an operation was planned for 30th December. During the operation, the surgeon discovered that the tumour had attached itself to the sphincter muscle that controls bowel movements and was concerned about trying to remove it by surgery.
Julie was referred to a clinical oncologist specializing in treating cancer using radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The appointment with this specialist in Bristol confirmed the diagnosis and Julie has now been scheduled for 28 sessions of Radiotherapy, 5 days per week for 5 ½ weeks starting 25th January until 2nd March. All our plans are now on hold as we deal with this situation and until we are given the all clear to book our flights to the States.

Christmas and Beyond…

Family photo edited December 2015_edited-1MarkJulieGrandkidsDecember2015_edited-1We made the most of the Christmas and New Year holidays and despite hospital appointments and challenging news to deal with, we were able to spend time with family and friends in Wales and Somerset.

We are so thankful to our friends in Wellington for making their home available to us for a longer period than we expected to facilitate our visits to the specialists and hospital appointments and for their support during this difficult time.

As the final diagnosis laid out the treatment plan of a further 6 weeks hospital visits in Bristol, friends from Taunton who are out of the country for 6 weeks offered us their home for which we are so grateful. Leaders at Christ For The Nations were very encouraging as they have facilitated other staff members to cover the Missions classes we were going to teach at the start of the Spring Semester and they are standing with us in faith that God is going to bring us through this trial and that we will soon be able to join the team following Julie’s recovery.

We have hundreds of friends praying for us throughout the world and we have been overwhelmed by the emails and Facebook messages we have received. Whilst we don’t understand why this would happen at this time, we understand that God has a purpose in everything that happens to us and we trust Him to use this situation for our good and for His glory.

How You Can Support Us.

What we need more than anything is a miracle of God’s healing power! Please pray that the tumour will disappear! We have heard of so many people who have received prayer and miraculously tumours have shriveled and died before treatment has even begun. We believe God can do this and this is our prayer.
Pray for our family as they come to terms with this diagnosis and wait expectantly for a good outcome.
You can support and encourage us by emailing us with your news, even if only a few sentences! Hearing from friends and family is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!

December 2015
Merry Christmas

Tree-JesusWith less than a week to go until Christmas Day, we take this opportunity to wish all our family and friends around the world a blessed, peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Thank you to all those who have taken time to support and encourage us over the past 12 months.
2015 has been a year of transition for us in many ways and as it draws to a close we are all set to take on all that 2016 has in store for us.
We are planning on being home in Wales with family on Christmas Day, which will be the first time in 13 years!
Wherever you will be spending Christmas, we pray that you will know the love & blessing of God at this special time of year!

Family Reunions are always fun!

We were eagerly greeted with lots of cuddles as we got to spend time with our children and grandchildren after arriving back in Wales in early December. Being away from family is the biggest challenge of traveling, but we had lots of fun skyping with them from the States, much to the grandkids amusement!DSCF4971

Our youngest Grandson, Oliver, had just come home from a superhero birthday party when we saw him first and was dressed up as Captain America, which was funny with us having spent the past 3 months in the States! He insisted on staying in character the entire evening and battling with us to see who was the strongest!!!

We celebrated Julie’s Mum’s 79th Birthday ‘quietly’ on 11th December as she was recovering from a chest infection.

DSCF4574We have been staying in a guest room in her sheltered housing complex. We wondered if this was training for later years!  Thankfully Mum is now almost recovered and looking forward to spending Christmas with us, the children and grandchildren. It has been a bizarre build up with Christmas, with no home in the UK to store and wrap Christmas presents.

We enjoyed visiting King’s Church, Wellington in December and meeting up with our friends there. It was a little strange as this was the first time we have been in the church during a service since left as leaders in July. We had a lovely lunch with Courtney Gill and Andy & Shirley Lane before leaving for Wales.

We have had a few challenges during our time home that we can hopefully tell you about in our next newsletter when we are the other side of them.

Stepping into Our Next Assignment 

We entered the final quarter of 2015 with no set plans and looked on it as an ‘Adventure with God’ waiting to unfold before us.

When we handed over our leadership roles at King’s Church Wellington in July, we had no idea of how the end of this year would pan out and feel so privileged to have had so many great opportunities open up to us.

November and December had a few obstacles to overcome as we set about applying for Religious Worker Visas with the United States Immigration Department. After filling out the mountain of paperwork necessary our petitions were approved in the US just 6 & 10 days from sending them off and our R1 visas were instantly approved at the US Embassy in London when we got back to the UK in early December.

So now we are all set to fly back to Dallas to take up our new roles teaching and helping train next generation missionaries in the 3rd Year School of Missions Major at Christ For The Nations Bible College in Dallas Texas, where initially we will be paid part-time 20 hours per week.

DSCF4926IMG_0149Having volunteered our time to teach and train students at CFNI for 3 months, a few highlights of our time in the US included celebrating the end of the semester with the 3rd Year Missions Major students and watching them receive their diplomas as they graduated, knowing we had played a significant part in getting them to this point and launching them on to the Mission Field.

Another highlight was watching Alex Lane, from our church in Wellington, Graduate after 2 years at CFNI, having invested in encouraging and mentoring him during our 10 years as Pastors at King’s Church.

DSCF4831IMG_0152We were recently invited to be guest speakers at our first Missions Conference in Southlake,
Texas and enjoyed the opportunity to encourage the church family by sharing a little of our personal journey over the past 12 years. It reminded us of the great adventure we have been on since graduating CFNI Missions Major in 2004 and now as we take on the challenge of training and equipping students to follow in our footsteps, we are excited to be able to invest in the next generation of World Changers!

Please email us with your news! We would love to hear from you and know what is going on in your life!

You can support us by praying for us! Please pray for our transition to the States, setting up an apartment on Bible College Campus, purchasing a car and taking on this new opportunity. Pray for our family back home too!

November 2015

Miraculous Approval!

We shared in our October update that Christ For The Nations had submitted visa petitions to the US Immigration Department in order to get preapproval of our work permits so we could obtain our R1 Religious worker visas to be employed at the Bible College in January 2016.
These visas usually take 4 – 6 months to be processed and we chose to pay an expediting fee to make this quicker. Even with the fee paid, previous approvals have taken one or two months and several have taken longer.
We submitted the paperwork and prayed that God would speed up the process to allow us to return for the start of the Spring Semester.
Julie’s approval came back in 6 days from sending the forms off and Mark’s came back in 10 days, so we are approved to start our roles as Assistant Directors of the Missions Major at CFNI from 28th December. We are excited by this opportunity to reproduce ourselves as we train and equip 3rd year students to go to the nations of the world to serve as we have served on 3 continents for the past 12 years.
We fly back to the UK on 3rd December to spend 3 weeks with family and friends, pack 2 suitcases and then return to the US on 28th December for the next adventure with God!


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